Of Fortune 500 companies, only 24 are led by women and none are in the business of medtech. Bridging this gap is the biggest challenge when it comes to advancing female leadership at the executive level. Dune Medical CEO Lori Chmura recently addressed the issue as keynote speaker at the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA): Diary of a Leader event on November 12th.
During her presentation, Lori detailed her journey from critical care nurse to CEO of a medical device company, outlining the increasing levels of leadership roles that she took on over the years. Her goal was to inspire other women to define their journey into leadership by seeing themselves in elements of Lori’s journey. So often women don’t have role models in their organizations that they can emulate on their way to advanced roles. Seeing how other women have balanced their professional and personal lives will certainly help to bridge this gender gap in the future.
Have the right mindset
Lori stated in her presentation that people’s very beliefs about what they are capable of can have a large impact on what they are able to achieve. Knowing the difference between a ‘fixed mindset’ and a ‘growth mindset’ is crucial in setting yourself up for success in your career. At a young age, Lori had already asserted that her end goal was to one day be a CEO.
“Lori was adamant about researching her next steps in her career journey and asking her corporations for support and resources to make this real,” said Nicole Wilson, Vice President of HBA’s Atlanta Chapter. “She was never afraid to pursue her future and made this clear to all with whom she engaged.”
In addition to clearly identifying her career goals, Lori was also aware of what she wished to accomplish in her personal life. She identified her roles as a wife and mother as her biggest accomplishments in life thus far.
Filling her downtime with activities like volunteering and mentoring is another way Lori maintains this healthy work/life balance. However, she acknowledges that, as a leader, it is important to understand that everyone maintains their balance in their own unique way.
“She closed out the meeting with an important theme – not allowing others to define you, whether this is your parents, spouse, siblings or supervisor,” said Nicole Wilson. “You are the owner of your destiny and the word ‘no’ just may mean ‘not right now’.”
Lori would like to thank HBA for the opportunity to share her story and insights on leadership. You can learn more about HBA and their efforts to advance female leadership and bridge this gender gap at the executive level by visiting their website https://www.hbanet.org/.